The SPAR South African Indoor Hockey Women’s team were desperate to ignite their FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup campaign when they played against Australia at Heartfelt Arena on Wednesday evening.
The South Africans played a game that stifled the creative power of the Australians incredibly denying the Australians space or the ability to impact the game with any sort of significance. Throughout the game the South Africans maintained a disciplined shape and limited the Australians to glimpses of the circle rather than impactful outcomes. In fact, the Australians ended the game with only 4 shots at goal.
The South Africans defensive stability and awareness have been the better part of their game at the 2023 FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup, but it’s the lack of bite in attack that has proven to be the most difficult. And that was the case against on Wednesday night as despite the dominance in possession, circle entries and shots they were finding it incredibly difficult to find the quality needed.
Kayla de Waal was a constant thorn in the side of the Australians, but she was unable to hit the target with her chances and ultimately the game had a very 1-0 feeling about it. Knowing that the first goal would be pivotal, South Africa were elated to have won a penalty stroke for a foul on Celia Seerane. Tegan Fourie, who had missed a stroke against Austria, stood up confidently and quickly and fired the ball home.
The South Africans were able to delight their home crowd by hanging on for a victory that not only kept their tournament alive but ignited their challenge ahead of a final day meeting with New Zealand on Thursday morning.